Free Essays on Good and Evil in Hamlet

1106 Words5 Pages
Good versus evil is a common theme in literature. Often, the reader learns about the characteristics of the good and the evil through less important characters. These characters are sometimes referred to as "Foils”. In William Shakespeare's Hamlet foils are used primarily to reveal Hamlet and Claudius as good vs. evil. These two foils help us to piece the puzzle together. [Which two are "these two"?] Foil's [No ' H-50] are minor character's [No '] in a story who by their similarities and differences with more important characters, helps [SV - 1] the audience to better understand the main character in that story. Also another purpose of a foil is to provide the more meaningful character with simply someone to talk to. In "Hamlet" [Titles] there are many foils used but I am going to only speak of those who lend to the fact that Hamlet and Claudius represent good and evil. [3 sic] One of Hamlet's foil's is [No '] The Ghost of his father, the former King of Denmark. One of their similarities is their relation and knowledge of one another by being father and son. When Hamlet and The Ghost meet (Act 1, Scene 2, Line 10) the reader learns that the ghost is in fact Hamlet[']s father when he says "I am thy father's spirit." Another similarity is their intelligence. The play gives many examples of Hamlet's quick witted yet smart way of speaking. And when we meet the ghost he speaks with the same intellect, only without the sarcasm used frequently by Hamlet. The main similarity is their longing for revenge. The ghost beg's [No '] Hamlet to revenge his death[,] and at the time Hamlet seems to honorably agree. By this honor the audience instantly stereotypes Hamlet as being heroic and good. Hamlet and his ghostly father also have some extreme differences. An obvious one is that of the living and the dead. This difference, I feel, was done with great purpose. The ghost makes the absolute best foil because of the fact that he, who was murdered, came back from the dead to reveal his killer. This seems to be more believable and more prideful than if say, Horatio tells Hamlet "I know who killed your father, [CS] I think you should go after him and kill for your father's honor." [Nice idea] Another big difference between them is trust.
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